Zimbabwe’s Environment minister says the country will not charge American dentist Walter Palmer for killing Cecil because he had obtained legal authority to conduct the hunt. The government says Palmer is free to visit Zimbabwe as a tourist but not as a hunter.
We approached the police and then the Prosecutor General, and it turned out that Palmer came to Zimbabwe because all the papers were in order.
Mugabe reads the wrong speech at the opening of parliament, giving the same one he gave during his state-of-the-nation address. His spokesman says the error was because of a mix-up in the president’s secretarial office. Tension is high ahead of the speech and the state broadcaster cancels its live feed fearing disruptions since at least six members of parliament from the opposition received a text message from a sender called “Death” warning them to behave. The message reads:
Warning: Immunity ends in parliament… act wisely by not disturbing the proceedings of parliament.
Mugabe says Zimbabweans failed in their responsibility to protect Cecil. Mugabe says his compatriots should protect their natural resources from what he calls foreign ‘vandals’.
Even Cecil the lion – he is yours. He’s dead! He was yours to protect and you failed to protect him. There are vandals who come from all over of course… some may be just ordinary visitors, but (there are) others who want to vandalise, to irregularly and illegally acquire part of our resources.
Mugabe makes it clear that only those who participated in the liberation struggle and continue to show their allegiance to him and his Zanu PF party will be conferred hero status when they die. Addressing the thousands who turned out to remember the country’s liberation heroes at the national shrine in Harare, President Mugabe says those who leave Zanu PF and go into opposition should not expect to be granted hero status at the end of their lives. He says there are some ‘misguided elements’ in society whom he accused of denigrating the country’s heroes and the national shrine, adding some went as far as suggesting how national heroes should be selected saying this his and Zanu PF’s prerogative only.
Heroes proved to be heroes as they fought and lived for the independence. They never abandoned struggles, they never were rebels or selfish or what we now call sellouts.
Mugabe says Ivory Coast President Ouattara blocked him from entering the country after his plane landed at the airport, while Mugabe was serving as rotating chairman of the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). He does not say when the incident happened. He says African leaders refuse to recognise his leadership on regional bodies at the prodding of the French government.
The French are saying that Mugabe is a dangerous man and don’t work with him. Britain is also trying to exert the same influence.
While seeing off President Keita of Mali after his three-day state visit to Zimbabwe, Mugabe says fellow African heads of state should form its own criminal court to bring to justice those Western leaders who he says have committed “serious war crimes and crimes against humanity…particularity during the colonial era” in Africa.
They committed crimes, colonial crimes galore—the slaughter of our people and all that imprisonment, I have a case. Why was I imprisoned for 11 years? We forgave them, but perhaps we’ve not done ourselves justice … You set up the ICC, we set our ICC to try Europeans, to try Mr. [George] Bush and Mr. [Tony] Blair.
resident Keita agrees:
[It is] up to Africans, not Europeans or Americans, to judge their leaders.
Police sabotage a demonstration organised by lobby group, the Democracy Advocate Initiative Trust, against President Mugabe’s ‘misrule’ which has caused the ‘suffering of citizens’. The organisation had planned to march from the capital’s Market Square bus terminus to Parliament where they intended to hand over a petition. Group founder:
We approached the police, their Police Internal Security intelligence (PISI) last week and handed over our application for the march as required by the law. Today in the morning we went there (Harare Central Police station) and they said they were going to come back to us. We obeyed their order and went back. We then called them after realizing that the time we had planned to march was lapsing but they never called us back.
Organisers say the Police are using old laws which require organisers of public gatherings to give them at least one week notice before holding their meetings to prevent opposition political parties and pro-democracy movements from holding meetings with ordinary citizens.
We are not going to be stopped by the police from handing over the petition which has many issues which we want to be urgently addressed. People are being sacked from employment but the President is not acting. Vendors are being harassed for trying to earn a living. Government promised jobs but what we are seeing is the reverse of their promises. So we are saying President Robert Mugabe should go, and that is the aim of the march and the petition.
Zimbabwe accuses Seski of illegally killing a lion. The wildlife authority says Seski killed the animal — without approval — with a bow and arrow on land where it was not allowed. A Zimbabwean landowner, who conducted the hunt, was arrested and is assisting police with their investigation. Although Seski added his name to a government database when he arrived in Zimbabwe, he was not granted permission to hunt lion. The wildlife authority:
When hunters come into the country they fill a document stating their personal details, the amount they have paid for the hunt, the number of animals to be hunted, the species to be hunted and the area and period where that hunt is supposed to take place. The American conducted his hunt in an area where lion hunting is outlawed. The landowner who helped him with the hunt also did not have a quota for lion hunting.
Following the outrage over the killing of Cecil the Lion by Palmer, Zimbabwe bans the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in the area frequently used by hunters. Bow and arrow hunts are also suspended unless hunters are approved by the National Parks and Wildlife Authority. The Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe stands to lose business $40 million a year from a ban.
MDC-T President Tsvangirai says Zanu PF is now in a dilemma as its ‘all-weather’ allies – the Chinese and Russians – have lost confidence in the party’s leadership under President Mugabe.
Zanu PF is in serious crisis because no investor across the world takes them seriously. Even the Chinese and Russians no longer trust them; that is why they are sceptical about investing in the country. What Zanu PF has only achieved is promoting politics of impunity, killing and destroying the economy and the once vibrant agricultural sector.
Tsvangirai tells supporters that his party will not boycott elections but will only take part in an election which will produce credible results.
We will only take part in an election which is conducted in a free and fair environment. We want a situation where, if Zanu PF wins the elections we shake their hands and say congratulations, and if MDC wins then they accept because change is imminent. We cannot take part in an election where the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission cannot run an independent process and is, instead, controlled by Zanu PF…We are still committed to peaceful means of taking power. Change is imminent now because people have suffered enough and they want change of political leadership.
We went into the GNU to save Zimbabweans and, later, Zanu PF decided to rule on their own but where is the country? Everything has virtually collapsed. We heard some of Zanu PF officials saying their party will rule forever; let them rule then.
Zimbabwean authorities are trying to find the hunter who killed Cecil. The 13-year old lion was found headless after being shot with a bow and arrow. Hunters then tracked the dying animal for 40 hours before they killed it with a rifle. Bait, in the form of a freshly killed animal, was used to tempt Cecil out of the park, a technique commonly used so that hunters can “legally” kill protected lions.
Cecil’s death is a tragedy, not only because he was a symbol of Zimbabwe but because now we have to give up for dead his six cubs, as a new male won’t allow them to live so as to encourage Cecil’s three females to mate. The two people who accompanied the hunter have been arrested but we haven’t yet tracked down the hunter, who is Spanish.
Mugabe arrives in New York ahead of the United Nations International Ebola Recovery Conference, accompanied by First Lady Grace Mugabe, Health Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister and Finance Minister. They are expected to be confined within a 25-mile radius due to travel sanctions.
The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association is warning that the health delivery system in the country is deteriorating owing to government lax in controlling medical aid societies and alleged corruption, citing the auditor general’s report which alleged that local resources are being abused and are short changing patients.
Mugabe is petitioned by Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims who accuse his government of abandoning them. In a petition sent to his office, the villagers request Mugabe visit them so that he can see for himself the conditions at their new settlement.
We write this urgent appeal to you on behalf of 20 000 victims of the Tokwe-Mukosi floods who have been dumped at Nuanetsi ranch in Mwenezi. We do not have food and we are facing starvation,We feel like people in prison.Your government is treating us like second-class citizens and as if we are people with no rights,
Your government has forced us to settle on Nuanetsi ranch this place is not suitable for people to live. Despite promises, your government has failed to compensate many of us and allocate each family enough land (at least 5 hectares) for resettlement. Instead each family was allocated one hectare plot of land only, Your excellency, we ask you to come as soon as possible to Nuanetsi ranch to see for yourself the conditions we are living under.
During his weekly interview with the national radio station, Mugabe mocks America’s decision to legalise gay marriage by vowing to travel to the White House and proposing to Barack Obama.
I’ve just concluded – since President Obama endorses the same-sex marriage, advocates homosexual people and enjoys an attractive countenance – thus if it becomes necessary, I shall travel to Washington, DC, get down on my knee and ask his hand. I can’t understand how this people dare to defy Christ’s explicit orders as our Lord prohibited mankind from sodomy.
Mugabe is stripped of his knighthood by Prime Minister Brown as a symbolic gesture.
This action has been taken as a mark of revulsion at the abuse of human rights and abject disregard for the democratic process in Zimbabwe over which President Mugabe has presided.
Zimbabwe formally informs the Commonwealth of its withdrawal from the 54-nation group over its extended suspension.
The principles of equality, fair play and respect for the national sovereignty of member states for which the club stands have sadly been compromised…In the light of the…threats to its cherished and hard won independence and sovereignty, the Republic of Zimbabwe has chosen to terminate its membership of the Commonwealth effective from 7th December, 2003 rather than continue to subject itself to such racist humiliation, arbitrariness and arrogance.
In a speech marking Heroes Day — celebrating victory over the old white regime — Mugabe gives a stern warning to white farmers that his government will stick to its policy of removing them from their land. Nearly 3,000 farmers have been told to leave their properties, although only 500 have left so far. Those who remain could be fined and jailed for up to two years for ignoring the eviction order. Mugabe says the August deadline will allow new owners of the land enough time to prepare and plant for the new crop season in October.
We set ourselves an August deadline for the redistribution of land and that deadline stands. All genuine and well-meaning white farmers who wish to pursue a farming career as loyal citizens of this country have land to do so, no farmer need go without land.
He also rejects allegations that international food aid has been diverted away from opposition supporters to his own followers.
We shall feed all. Even the stooges and puppets will have enough. No Zimbabwean should die of hunger.
Zimbabwe is suspended from the Commonwealth for a year. Election observers find the elections which return Mugabe to power seriously flawed. South African president Mbeki, Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo and Australian prime minister Howard – announce the suspension following several hours of talks at Marlborough House in London. Howard:
The committee decided to suspend Zimbabwe from the councils of the Commonwealth for one year with immediate effect…This issue will be revisited in 12 months’ time, having regard to progress in Zimbabwe and report from the Commonwealth’s Secretary General…I have noted in the lead-up to this meeting that people have said repeatedly that this is a test for the Commonwealth as to whether it’s going to be consistent in its treatment. I believe we have been consistent in our treatment.
[There is strong support for the initiatives of the Nigerian and South African presidents] in encouraging a climate of reconciliation between the main political parties in Zimbabwe which they considered essential to address the issues of food shortages, economic recovery, the restoration of political stability, the rule of law and the conduct of future elections.
The Zimbabwe registrar-general declares that Mugabe wins a fifth term in office after the results from all 120 constituencies are returned. Mugabe wins 1,685,212 votes against 1,258,401 for challenger Tsvangirai. Mugabe makes a net gain of votes compared with the 2000 parliamentary election in every province in the country. While there is evidence of vote tampering in some areas, most of the ballots dropped into the box with a cross by Mugabe’s name are not fraudulent. There is no criticism of the count, and election observers from South Africa, Nigeria and Namibia effectively endorsed the election. Namibian observer:
It is our considered view that the election was free and fair and reflects the wishes of the people of Zimbabwe. [The poll] was watertight, without room for rigging”.
Justice Minister Chinamasa:
This is a runaway victory. It was won on the issue of the land.
We foresaw electoral fraud but not daylight robbery. We find ourselves unable to endorse the purported election of President Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwe’s president in this election. It’s the biggest election fraud I’ve witnessed in my life.
European Union foreign ministers agrees to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe, and to withdraw EU election monitors still in the country. Officials say the EU will cut off 128m euros in development aid.
The EU remains seriously concerned at political violence, serious violations of human rights and restrictions on the media …which call into question the prospects for a free and fair election.
Portugal and Greece are reported to have opposed the imposition of sanctions and to have favoured the continued pressure of EU monitors inside Zimbabwe.
Sally Mugabe dies from kidney failure. She is interred at the National Heroes Acre in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Mugabe changes the constitution to become president and acquire additional powers.
Zimbabwe elects Mugabe as the first black prime minister in a landslide victory. Mugabe:
If yesterday I fought you as an enemy, today you have become a friend and ally with the same national interest, loyalty, rights and duties as myself. If yesterday you hated me, today you cannot avoid the love that binds you to me and me to you…Is it not folly, therefore, that in these circumstances anybody should seek to revive the wounds and grievances of the past? The wrongs of the past must now stand forgiven and forgotten. If ever we look to the past, let us do so for the lesson the past has taught us, namely that oppression and racism are inequities that must never again find scope in our political and social system. It could never be a correct justification that, because whites oppressed us yesterday when they had power, the blacks must oppress them today because they have power.
Mugabe is arrested and sentenced to ten years imprisonment for opposing white-minority rule.
Nhamodzenyika Mugabe, a son, is born to the Mugabes
Mugabe co-founds Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) with Enos Nkala.
Mugabe graduates from Fort Hare University, Alice, South Africa with Bachelor of Arts degree.